I read this article: http://www.racialicious.com/2012/02/21/asians-are-stealing-our-boyfriends-on-this-american-life/ from some other tumblr people and the ending also hit home for me:
Why would any writer of color want to be on a show with such tacky racial hierarchy? I was a loyal listener, and I’m having trouble even resigning myself to that role. c
This made me think back to the day when I was young and I liked American girl dolls. But being Asian, and especially Korean, I could never find a doll who “looked like me.” I kept waiting for American Girl to come out with an Asian doll. There were Felicity, Molly and Samantha who were white. Addy who was black. Josephina who was Hispanic. No Asians. So my parents bought me a “My American Girl doll.” Which was Asian. ish. The My American Girl was available in all shades of white with all different hair styles. But only one very stereotypical Asian with long hair, straight across bangs. Her eyes were still round and dark and her skin was basically still white. She looked nothing like me. And the only Asian outfit I could buy from the American Girl company was a Chinese one.
Then Mattel bought American Girl. And what was the first new American girl they came out with? A blonde, white girl. Typical. But I kept waiting. There’s tons of Asian Americans - clearly this is a story that has to be told as an “American Girl.” They came out with a Native American (TOOK LONG ENOUGH!) and then more and more Caucasians. I was pissed. And I was also starting high school where I was starting to get that American isn’t this color-blind nation we claim to be.
Then I read that line today - “This American Life, in its captivating, witty way, has broadcast its regular subtext: there is only one story, and it’s white.” And it made me think…it’s been another 8 or so years…clearly American Girl MUST have made an Asian American Girl doll. I looked. Nope.
There are so many great Asian American stories to tell. The Chinese Americans and the Gold Rush. Korean adoptees (hehe^^). The Hmong American refugees from the Vietnam War. The Japanese….OHHHH WAIT. The concentration camps the USA put them in probably wouldn’t make for such a happy go lucky American Girl story.
American Girl and Mattel - GET ON IT ALREADY!! I want to see an Asian American Girl!!!
*** EDIT: Ohh, now that I look, there’s a very Americanized Asian sub-partner with the blonde Julie doll. I’m jumping for joy, reallyyyyyyy.
This. Is SO true. I mean I was glad to see that they brought in Rebecca, a girl of Jewish heritage, but…
Where are the Asians? The Indians? The girls from the Middle East? There are SO many immigrants to America these days and their stories NEED to be told!
And I say this as a girl who is pretty much 100% white.